Aerospace stakeholders contemplate path to recovery

Aerospace stakeholders contemplate path to recovery

Washington state’s aerospace industry has certainly seen better years than 2020. In addition to the economic shutdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic all...
Whatcom County may restart Cherry Point regulatory work

Whatcom County may restart Cherry Point regulatory work

For more than four years the Whatcom County Council has explored reregulating the Cherry Point industrial area, already one of the most regulated and...
Washington meat supply backlogged, but stable

Washington meat supply backlogged, but stable

While the appearance of rationing policies in grocery stores today for meat and beef products similar to those used for toilet papers in March...
Small biz “barely hanging on”

Small biz “barely hanging on”

Days after reopening the construction industry, Governor Jay Inslee announced that some outdoor recreation on state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) land will also...
Emergency rule “season-ending” for many farmers

Emergency rule “season-ending” for many farmers

Many Washington state farmers rely on foreign workers through the Federal H-2A work visa program to harvest their crops. However, the Department of Health...
Inslee may reopen construction, other activity

Inslee may reopen construction, other activity

Governor Jay Inslee announced in an April 21 address to the state that his March 18 “shelter-in-place” order will extend beyond May 4, though certain activities...
Efforts continue to recognize construction as “essential activity”

Efforts continue to recognize construction as “essential activity”

Although Governor Jay Inslee declined to add construction to the list of allowed “essential activities” as part of an April 7 update on the...
Panic purchases can create shortage illusion

Panic purchases can create shortage illusion

As is now well recognized in communities throughout the state, the COVID-19 outbreak and response has provoked panic purchases by Washington consumers of items...
Legal fight over public union membership continues

Legal fight over public union membership continues

Since the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court Janus decision ruling that public employees cannot be compelled to pay union dues, the Washington state legislature has...
Labor, trade issues continue to hurt Washington farmers

Labor, trade issues continue to hurt Washington farmers

While trade disputes and labor costs continue to affect Washington agriculture, Wenatchee-based McDougall & Sons, Inc. co-owner Scott McDougall says the situation could get...
Tour highlights state’s manufacturing sector

Tour highlights state’s manufacturing sector

The state of Washington’s manufacturers has gained the renewed attention of state lawmakers and business groups interested in the sector’s long-term health, and the...
The fight to fully fund guest worker program

The fight to fully fund guest worker program

Washington farmers in recent years have increased the number of applications for H-2A guest worker visas while the federal government has decreased funding to...
Janus one year on – what’s next?

Janus one year on – what’s next?

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus decision one year ago in which the court ruled that requiring public employees to pay union dues violated...

Shipping hub feels squeeze of regional growth

Santa’s workshop may be in the North Pole, but he has an outpost tucked away nearby in a place you might not expect: Tukwila,...
Public union consent bill passes

Public union consent bill passes

The Washington Senate on April 12 passed legislation regarding public sector union membership in the wake of the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court Janus ruling....
House passes new "consent" bill for public worker unions

House passes new “consent” bill for public worker unions

Earlier this week House lawmakers approved in a 57-41 vote SSHB 1575 in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) Janus ruling last year...
: Guest worker fee, or job tax on farmers?

Guest worker fee, or job tax on farmers?

The Washington Senate in a 26-21 vote approved a bill creating a new fee to be paid by farmers who rely on H-2A visa...
Washington’s hospitality labor shortage

Washington’s hospitality labor shortage

As Washington state is currently experiencing a low unemployment rate, industries such as hospitality in recent years have struggled to fill job openings. A...
Noel Christmas Trees

Local businesses navigate Christmas tree shortage

‘Tis the season for Christmas tree selling, and Washington’s tree selling businesses and tree farms are busy cycling in trees so community members can...
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Video: ‘Tis the season of trees

Lens interviewed Northwest Landscape Supply Owner Gary Fruhling and Bellevue resident Jeanne Ulstein to get their perspectives on the competition that Christmas tree selling...
Cashier at store

Business community concerned over proposed overtime changes

Representatives from the business community say that while they appreciate efforts made by the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) to update its overtime...
Boeing Factory

Preparing students for the manufacturing skills gap

New data suggests that the U.S. manufacturing field will experience a significant skills gap in the next decade. Washington state stakeholders recommend that the...
Small business food shop

Implementing tariffs “playing with fire”

A panel featuring representatives from small business, agriculture and the trade sector met in Seattle this month to discuss – and humanize – the...
Amazon Go Store

Future of work in an automated world

Members of Washington’s Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (WTB) are recommending to the legislature that the state and its businesses should refocus efforts...
Aerial view of Spokane

Retooling Spokane’s economic development

Organizations representing local businesses and economic development interests have made it known that the previous and existing model for promoting the greater Spokane region...
City of Bellingham

Port of Bellingham to ramp up cargo capacity

A new agreement will allow the Port of Bellingham to handle more cargo shipments—a move which members of the port and the labor community...
Box of apples

The dangers of tariffs

Leadership representing trade and business agree that tariffs create a long-term hindering effect on Washington state industries and impede the effectiveness of trade until...
Robotics team

Stakeholders examine future of work

The Future of Work Task Force convened this week to discuss areas of focus in Washington’s educational system in need of change to better...
Building the workforce of tomorrow

Building the workforce of tomorrow

Automation is expected to radically change the makeup of the U.S. workforce, and experts say Washington state should help the next generation of workers...
Reevaluating prevailing wage

Reevaluating prevailing wage

State lawmakers are signaling they may reevaluate a bill they approved earlier this year that was intended to streamline the process by which the...
Manufacturing Day

Manufacturing a new skilled workforce

Half of southwest Washington’s manufacturing 14,000-strong workforce is 45 or older, and regional employers and educators want to ensure there’s a steady supply of...
Internet line

Expanding rural broadband a necessity, advocates say

Though lawmakers are still gearing up for the next legislative session, one Senate committee this week heard about the need to expand rural broadband...
Columbia River pier

Millennium suing Ecology for bias

Millennium Bulk Terminals (MBT) has announced it is suing Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon for bias in delaying its proposed export terminal project...
Catching up with growing guest worker demand

Catching up with growing guest worker demand

In recent years Washington’s agricultural employers have dramatically increased the use of H-2A visa guest workers to harvest crops; the number of workers requested...
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Lens Video: Dick’s Drive In- Growing alongside Seattle

Lens met with Jasmine Donovan, Executive Vice President and CFO of Dick's Drive-In, to learn about how the restaurant got its start and has...
Dick's Drive-In sign

Business Profile: Dick’s Drive-In, then and now

When looking for a burger in the Seattle area, the spinning Dick’s Drive-In (DDI) sign may be hard to pass up for many Washingtonians....
Fulfillment Center

The “Amazon Effect” on Spokane’s business community

Although Spokane was not chosen as the location for Amazon’s HQ2, the city’s efforts were not in vain. The company has announced it would...
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Lens Video: Apprenticeships- The path to a stable career

Lens visited the Puget Sound Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (PSEJATC) school in Renton and interviewed Kevin Trinh, a fifth year apprentice, and...
Electrical apprentices in class

Local trade school offers secure career path

Over 2,000 Washingtonians are choosing to pursue trade-related careers in the electrical field through registered apprenticeships, a choice which often leaves them with a...
Officials contemplate affordable housing strategy

Officials contemplate affordable housing strategy

The job tax unanimously approved by the Seattle City Council in May was purportedly intended to fund affordable housing efforts. Although the tax has...
The future of right to work in Washington state

The future of right to work in Washington state

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus decision overturning required union dues for government workers, the Washington-based Freedom Foundation has filed a class-action lawsuit on...
Straw in strawberry milkshake

Seattle goes strawless: no more plastic pointy things…

Seattle has become the largest metropolitan city to forbid the use of plastic straws and utensils as part of the plastic utensil and straw...
How Janus could change Washington’s politics

How Janus could affect Washington state

In a major blow to public sector labor unions, the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned 22 state laws requiring state employees pay them a...
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Lens Video: Head tax- Sending the right message to business

"It's not as if they (the Seattle City Council) had a change of mind, so I worry that we will see some other form of anti-growth, anti-jobs tax that will replace this one" -State Sen. Steve O'Ban (R-28)
Grocery store checkout line

Grocers embrace new tech to stay afloat

Grocery stores across Washington are stepping up their efforts to modernize and reformat their stores to better highlight what online shopping can never quite...
'Right to work’ ruling could change public sector landscape

‘Right to work’ ruling could change public sector landscape

The state of Illinois is in a financial mess; every resident owes $11,000 for $150 billion in unfunded public pension liabilities. The state’s credit...
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Lens Video: Challenges for Washington’s small, local farmers

Lens traveled to Kent-based Windy Acre Farm to ask owner Chris Sechrist about any obstacles to his farm's success while operating within King County...
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Lens Video: Seattle head tax-not just an Amazon tax

Lens asked Jan Gee, President and CEO of the Washington Food Industry Association (WFIA), her opinion of the Seattle City Council voting unanimously to...
Employees helping at a grocery store check out line

Head tax passes despite business outcry

The Seattle City Council has unanimously approved its head tax proposal that will impose a significant penalty on Seattle’s largest businesses in the name...
Right to work for public employees?

Right to work for public employees?

A case currently before the United States Supreme Court may soon determine whether public employees throughout the country have to pay union dues –...
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Lens Video: Labor weighs in on proposed head tax

Lens attended the Seattle City Council's Finance and Neighborhoods public hearing and asked Chris McClain, Business Manager for Iron Workers Local Union 86, his...

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